In Northern NJ, real estate closings are handled by attorneys. Why? For most people, the purchase of real estate is one of the biggest purchases they will ever make. When they find a property that they decide to buy, the Realtor writes up an offer and submits it to the Seller. After negotiating the price, they have an agreement. Under New Jersey law, the parties have three “business” days to have an attorney review the contract and “open attorney review.” If attorney review is not opened the Contract binds the Seller and Buyer to the terms and conditions of that contract. So what does the attorney do that protects their client?

The Seller's Attorney

The Seller’s attorney reviews the Contract and objects to any of the “form agreement” terms that are not in the Seller’s best interest. Realtor form agreements have been written to protect the Realtor and to handle the basic transaction. Attorney review addresses ALL terms in the agreement. Most form agreements allow Realtor liens on the property for compensation, even if the Contract is terminated. At Maske|Hoffmann Law, we review the contract and modify it to protect our client’s rights in the property. We then oversee the payment of Buyer’s deposits, repair requests, title concerns regarding the Seller and prepares the necessary closing documents such as the Deed, 1099-S Reporting Form, Residency Forms and Affidavits.

The Buyer's Attorney

The Buyer’s attorney reviews the contract and objects to terms that are not in the Buyer’s best interest. A buyer may be purchasing a property expecting that they have a right to inspect the property and if the inspection determines that there are issues that need to be resolved, that they have the right to request for repairs or to terminate the Contract without any further liability with their deposit returned. However, the “form agreement” that was used may have stated that the property is in “as is” condition and that the Buyer does not have those rights. At Maske|Hoffmann Law, we object to the Contract and negotiate a Contract that protects our client’s rights and interests. We also oversee the entire real estate transaction such as inspections, title, pay-off requests and coordinates the closing on the property.

What to Ask

1. Does a Seller have to make repairs or offer credit to the Buyer?
2. What happens if the Seller refuses to make repairs?
3. Do I need to attend the closing?
4. What happens if the Seller does not vacate the property in time?
5. What happens if I can’t qualify for my mortgage?

Contact Maske|Hoffmann Law to find answers to all of these questions and more. We understand that much of this may be confusing, especially for first-time home buyers. Therefore, we are here to ensure your protection throughout this process.


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